C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Unmasked, self-love runs deep
  Administrators, mayors, MPs, councillors continue to be on a self-glorification spree 
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
'Vanity is my favourite sin', said Al Pacino in a movie "The Devil's Advocate" in which he played the role of the devil.
The names of Congress MP Pawan Bansal, along with the names of former Mayor Subhash Chawla and former councillor Harpreet Kaur Babla, figure on a plaque marking the inauguration of a green belt in Sector 27 in 2003
a plaque with the name of Roshan Sunkaria, who served as the MC Commissioner, was installed on a fountain in the same green belt in 2009.
(Top): The names of Congress MP Pawan Bansal, along with the names of former Mayor Subhash Chawla and former councillor Harpreet Kaur Babla, figure on a plaque marking the inauguration of a green belt in Sector 27 in 2003; and a plaque with the name of Roshan Sunkaria, who served as the MC Commissioner, was installed on a fountain in the same green belt in 2009. Tribune photos: Manoj Mahajan 

Vanity, it seems, runs deep among politicians, successive administrators and officials in the city. Be it retired Lt Generals serving as Administrators of this union territory, politicians ranging from MPs to Mayors to relatively unknown councillors or IAS officers posted on deputation in the city, all have and continue to be on a self-glorification spree with their names figuring on plaques marking the inauguration of projects, some of them as ordinary as a small park or a small green belt.

So deep is the vanity that in 2009, a Punjab-cadre IAS officer, Roshan Sunkaria, who served as the Municipal Commissioner of Chandigarh, got an inaugural plaque with his name installed on a fountain in a green belt in Sector 27. Only six years earlier, in 2003, Congress MP Pawan Bansal's name along with the names of a former Mayor Subhash Chawla and Harpreet Kaur Babla, former councillor, figured on a plaque marking the inauguration of the green belt. That made it two inaugural plaques with two different sets of people in the same green belt in a span of six years.

This exercise in self-glorification bordering on vanity is occurring as both an eyesore and a violation of the spirit of the city's edict laid down by Le Corbusier.

Be it former UT Administrators Lt Gen JFR Jacob (retd) and Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) or Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, all of them had installed plaques of their names in the different green belts.

This list also includes former UT Advisers Jagdish Sagar and Pradip Mehra, former MC Commissioner Roshan Lal Sunkaria, former Mayors Ravinder Pal Singh, Subhash Chawla, Pardeep Chhabra, Harjinder Kaur, Anu Chatrath, etc. and number of councillors of the civic body.

Swaran Singh Kamboj, president of UT cadre educational employees union, said there should be some policy for the installation of plaques in green belts otherwise every green belt will have a number of plaques in the names of politicians and bureaucrats.

Shiv Singh, manager with a private bank, said the plaques which were installed by politicians and officials are an eyesore. The MC should stop the use of these plaques for glorifying any individual, he added.

Ravi Chandna, a resident of Sector 38-West, said instead of taking credit of inauguration of green belts by installing plaques, which are an eyesore, officials concerned and politicians should ensure proper maintenance of these parks and green belts.



Crowing glory: The plaques of self-praise

The city’s VIPs put up several plaques as they went about inaugurating projects, not realising that these would turn out to be eyesores. Politicians, officials and Army officers have left a trail of civic scars. Tribune staffer Rajinder Nagarkoti, lensmen Manoj Mahajan, Parvesh Chauhan and S Chandan take a closer look

‘Politicians made a mockery of exercise’


August 24, 2002..
Former UT Administrator JFR Jacob inaugurated a green belt in Sector 30

June 27, 2003..
Local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated a green belt (inset) in Sector 27

February 24, 2006..
Former UT Administrator SF Rodrigues inaugurated a green belt in Sector 38.

Ground reality: Polythene and leftovers dot the park.

May 28, 2006..
Union Minister and local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated a green belt in Sector 42

Ground reality: The green belt is ill-maintained. Polythene, empty disposable glasses and waste material can be seen strewn in the area.
March 27, 2010 .
Former Mayor Anu Chatrath inaugurated a green belt in Sector 47.

Ground reality: One can see litter scattered in and around the green belt. Most of the flowerbeds have almost dried up.

April 9, 2010..
Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated a green belt in Sector 46

Ground reality: On the plaque, a photographer has pasted a pamphlet advertising his work. Grass cover is also missing.

October 1, 2011..
Former Mayor and area councillor Harjinder Kaur inaugurated a green belt in Sector 44

Ground reality: Polythene and leftovers dot the park. The authorities do not carry out cleanliness drives in the area. Residents have approached the MC authorities a number of times, but their pleas were unheaded. 

October 7, 2011..
Former Mayor Ravinder Pal Singh inaugurated a green belt in Sector 51

Ground reality: The authorities have done a little to maintain the green belt. Flowers and plants have been uprooted. The park has been turned into a dumping site. Grills are also missing.

January 25, 2007..
Former Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen SF Rodrigues (retd) inaugurated the Mural at the Sector 17 shopping centre


October 25, 2012..
City Mayor Raj Bala Malik inaugurated a fountain in Sector 38.

November 6, 2010..
MP Pawan Kumar Bansal inaugurated a fountain in Sector 15.



Teenager ends life
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
A 14-year-old boy reportedly hanged himself to death after being reprimanded by his parents for consuming drugs. The teenager reportedly used to inhale correction fluid and took the extreme step after his parents scolded him and asked him to mend his ways, the police said.

The incident has also brought to fore the open sale of correction fluids in the city, which has been banned by the UT Administration.

The incident came to light when the teenager's two sisters came home from school and found the his room locked from inside.

He did not respond to their repeated knocks at the door.

They peeped through the window of the room and saw him hanging with a ceiling fan. His parents were away for work when the teenager ended his life.

His sisters called the neighbours. The boy was declared brought at a hospital.

Inspector Diwan Singh said the boy was under the influence of drugs when he took the extreme step.



MP given two days to clear encroachment
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
A day after Chandigarh Tribune highlighted an encroachment by member of Rajya Sabha and northern region in charge of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) KD Singh, officials of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation today visited the spot and gave two days time to remove the encroachment.

KD Singh has encroached upon an open space, including the road berm, by constructing a car shelter in violation of MC bylaws outside his house in Sector 9.

Today, officials of the enforcement wing led by an inspector reached KD Singh’s house to remove the encroachment. An MC official said that KD Singh was not in his house. His staff members were not in possession of the keys to the cars and they were given two days time to remove the encroachment, he added.

Dr Praveen Rathee, political secretary to KD Singh, said the MP was in Delhi to attend the Parliament proceedings, therefore they had sought two days time from the MC. He assured they would comply with the building bylaws and would do the needful.

MC Additional Commissioner Lalit Siwach said they would follow the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and would remove the encroachment from public land. MC Commissioner VP Singh was not available for comments.

KD Singh has covered the entire open space in front of the house (H No 159, Sector 9) and converted it into a large parking lot for his swanky cars. The pillars have been erected from outside the boundary wall of KD Singh’s residence, for the car shelter.



Jan Aushadhi Centres fail to benefit patients
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The Central government's concept of promoting sale of generic drugs, which are available at much cheaper prices through the designated Jan Aushadhi Centres, has failed to benefit patients, at least in the city.

Janaushadhi centre at the GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh.A Janaushadhi centre at the GMSH, Sector 16, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

The three centres set up in city government hospitals have been running short of a majority of medicines which were never restocked following the sale of the first lot.

The erratic supply of medicines to the three centres across Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Government Multi-Speciality Hospital and the PGIMER, was highlighted in these columns four months ago. The situation continues to be the same even now. Two visits to these centres in the past one week revealed that only 49 of the 319 compulsory medicines were available.

In the absence of regular stocks, the centres have failed to find takers and the total loss suffered by the two centres at GMSH-16 and GMCH-32 (which are maintained by the Red Cross Society) has turned out to be Rs 4.5 lakh since these had been set up in 2011. In addition, the society returned expired medicines worth Rs 80,000 to the suppliers in the absence of buyers.

Harish Bhatia returned empty-handed from the Jan Aushadhi Centre in Sector 16. When he asked for pentoparazole (40 mg), a medicine for those suffering from gastric problem, he was told that the medicine was not available.

For a strip of 10 tablets, he had to pay Rs 65 at the other medical store, which is priced at Rs 10.40 at the Jan Aushadhi Centre.

Meenu Singh, whose prescription required zentamycin injection, an antibiotic (generic) priced at Rs 5, had to purchase a branded alternative from the adjoining chemist shop at the GMCH-32. The MRP for the same dose was Rs 25.

Coordinator of the Red Cross Society, Ashish Ahuja, said, “We have been making efforts to ensure regular stocks of medicines. However, the supply has been irregular. The centres were launched with much fanfare, but these have failed to serve the purpose."

The centres were opened in Chandigarh at the PGI, GMCH-32 and GMSH-16 in November 2009, August 2011 and February 2011, respectively.

Though a few months ago, it was proposed that the state PSUs and private companies should be included among the suppliers of medicines, no steps have been taken in this direction. 

Director-Principal of the GMCH-32 Dr Raj Bahadur said, “The issue of poor performance of the Jan Aushadhi Centres was discussed during a meeting of the health committee. It was learnt that there was poor supply of drugs to the stores and at a time not more than 150 drugs were available. Even surgical items are not available at the stores. Another major reason for the lack in popularity of these stores is the fact that some of the medicines produced by the private manufactures turn out to be cheaper at other stores than that at the Jan Aushadhi Centres since the centres purchase them from the PSUs.”


Revenue loss to Mohali MC
  Cable operators have not paid ground rent for the past two years
Kulwinder Sangha

Mohali, December 5
With the Municipal Corporation turning a blind eye, the cable TV operators never bothered to pay ground rent for at least two years and treated the town as their backyard, fixing poles and wires as it suited them. In fact, the civic body does not have any list of the cable TV operators, due to which notices cannot be issued to them for the non-payment of the ground rent . Moreover, the corporation does not have a clear policy regarding the issue.

Surprisingly, the authorities concerned have failed to take note of the lapse on the part of the civic body. Sources said a cable operator had approached the civic body for paying the ground rent more than a year ago but the amount could not be collected as it was not clear whether the rules meant for the council or the corporation were

to be applied in this regard . The status of the civic body had been kept on changing from the council to corporation and vice versa over the past two years, and now finally, it has become a corporation.

Moreover, the cable TV operators fixing poles on footpaths, roadsides and even on green belts with impunity. Interestingly, the ground rent for the use of public land is merely Rs 1,000 per year per phase. The residents feel the ground rent should be revised on the basis of the number of poles fixed and strict corporation rules should govern the cable TV business.

Moreover, the cable operators do not seek permission from the civic body for putting up poles and function only according to their own convenience. The poles were put up by certain cable TV operators on the footpath in Phase IIIB1 which were constructed by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority after widening the sector-dividing road at a cost of Rs 5 crore.

There were around 40 cable TV operators, including sub-operators, functioning in the town a few years ago. Their number have come down during the recent years. Despite repeated attempts, the corporation officials were not available for comments. 



Illegal tents still intact in Mohali
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 5
Defying the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court with impunity, Haryana IPS officer Dr Rajwant Singh did not budge on the issue of pitching security tent outside his residence here.
Encroachments outside the residences of IPS officer Dr Rajwant Singh at Phase XI, Mohali; and (below) former DGP, Punjab, KK Atri, at Phase VI in Mohali.
(Top) Encroachments outside the residences of IPS officer Dr Rajwant Singh at Phase XI, Mohali; and (below) former DGP, Punjab, KK Atri, at Phase VI in Mohali. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu

Hardial Singh Mann, SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, who lives in House Number 1 in Sector 70, removed the tent of his security men from the public park and shifted it to a vacant plot nearby, which is also an encroachment.

On November 20, when Mann was contacted by The Tribune team, he had claimed to remove the tent immediately, which was pitched in front of his house. During the recent visit at the site, the tent was found shifted to a vacant plot.

The concrete structure, which the Punjab’s former DGP KK Attri has erected for his security personnel at one side of his corner house number 632, Phase VI, is also yet to be removed by the authorities.

The former cop has gone a step further than pitching a security tent at the site. He has constructed a concrete structure in a vacant space adjoining his corner house to accommodate his security personnel. Following a news item on the issue published in these columns on November 22, no action has been taken by the authorities in this connection.

Similarly, the tent erected by Haryana IPS Dr Rajwant Singh, who lives in house number 2411 in Phase XI, can still be seen pitched on the footpath near his residence. As the tent covers the entire footpath, it creates hindrance to the pedestrians there.
The public park from where the tent erected by Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Hardial Singh Mann was shifted to a vacant plot.
The public park from where the tent erected by Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Hardial Singh Mann was shifted to a vacant plot. Tribune photo: Vicky Gharu

The area’s DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal had said he would check the location that day. The structure was found intact.

False claims
Following news reports published in The Tribune, the Mohali police had earlier claimed that all tents in the town had been removed. But the presence of above-mentioned tents here just belied the claims of the police. 

GMADA for fresh survey
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) is yet to take action in this connection. A senior official claimed that a fresh survey to check the latest status of security tents in the town has been ordered.



P'kula MC gives 2 days to remove encroachments
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 5
The Panchkula Municipal Corporation (MC) has given another two days for the removal of encroachments. They had come up again just two days after a joint team of HUDA and the MC removed the encroachments from outside the houses of bureaucrats.
The encroachment can be seen again in front of House Number 199, residence of former Punjab Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill in Sector 6, Panchkula.
The encroachment can be seen again in front of House Number 199, residence of former Punjab Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill in Sector 6, Panchkula. A Tribune photograph

“We have given them more two days. If they don’t clear them again, we will take the necessary action,” said OP Sihag, executive officer of the MC.

The tent outside the residence of former Punjab Chief Secretary Jai Singh Gill had come up again near house number 199, Sector VI, Panchkula. Even the bathroom and kitchen of the staff of Punjab IGP BK Garg have also been erected near his residence in Sector VII, Panchkula.

The MC took the action after the story was highlighted in the columns of Chandigarh Tribune. Encroachments near the residence of Haryana ADGP MS Mann in Sector VI, Panchkula, have been dismantled.

The Panchkula Administration had defied the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and had failed to take any action against the violators. Ram Niwas, Principal Secretary Urban Local Bodies, had also pulled up the authorities.

Chandigarh Tribune had reported in its columns that Garg’s security men had erected six tents with a special bathroom and a kitchen outside his residence. All kinds of facilities, beddings and televisions had been provided in these tents. Similarly, a toilet had been constructed in a park near the residence of Mann, which reportedly was being used by security guards.

Jai Singh Gill had also provided the tent facility to his guards near his residence.



Over Rs 43 crore kept for fruit, vegetable market

Mohali, December 5
A modern fruit and vegetable market will come up in Mohali at a cost of Rs 43.34 crore in Mohali . While giving information about the market, which is under construction, Mohinder Singh Kainth, Secretary , Mandi Board, said the market had been divided into three portions. A whole sale market would come up in one part of the area, in which 34 double-storeyed shops were being constructed and the ground floor would have showrooms of commission agents while offices would be run from the upper floor, he said. 

There will be an air-conditioned retail market in the second part of the market. The market will have 95 shops. The third part of the market will have Apni Mandi where farmers will be able to sell their produce directly to consumers. Kainth said the market would have the facility of a ripening chamber for fruits, a cold room for storage and a grading line.

"The vegetable market will also have a sub-office of the market committee, a post office ,a dispensary and a police post. Adjoining the new vegetable market, the head office of the Mandi Board will come up at a cost of Rs 45.50 crore, “ kaith said. — OC



Former administrative officer dies in mishap
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
A 62-year-old former administrative officer with the the Haryana Government succumbed to injuries today. Chaman Lal Sharma, who retired as the administrative officer, Department of Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, had met with a road accident on December 2 near Kala Gram. The accident took place when he was coming from the Kala Gram Craft Mela with his family and was crossing the road. He was hit by a motorcycle.

Immediately, the PCR had taken him to the GMCH, Sector 32, where he remained in the ICU. After hitting him, the motorcyclist ran away. The police had registered a case of causing death due to negligence under Section 304 A of the IPC. Dhaminder, the motorcyclist, has been booked in the case. Chaman Lal is survived by his wife, daughter and son.



Security fails to produce bomb blast accused in court on time 

Panchkula, December 5
In the Samjhauta blast case, the security today failed to bring the accused Aseemanand and other two accused to the court here this morning. When they reached the court by afternoon, the judge had gone on leave following which the case was deferred. The case had come up for hearing in the Additional District and Sessions Court

Aseemanand and the other two accused were to be produced in the court but the security could not produce them in the court as the transportation could not be provided on time. It was only in the afternoon that the accused were brought to the court.

By afternoon, the judge had gone on leave. Though Aseemanand and the other accused were produced before the other judge but the case was deferred for the next hearing.

It was on August 9 the NIA had filed a charge sheet accusing two persons, including RSS worker Kamal Chauhan of planting bombs, in the Indo-Pak train, in which 68 people were killed. 



UT Bar Assn moves HC over financial irregularities 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
A section of the UT District Bar Association today moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the “criminal” wastage of money during the construction of the lawyers’ chambers building in Sector 43.

The petition filed by the Construction Committee, constituted by the investor-members of the District Bar Association for allotment of chambers in the Sector 43 district courts complex, is scheduled to come up for hearing on Thursday. It has been filed through members including HS Awasthi, Vinod Choda, RS Walia and Amar Singh Chahal.

The petition said the CBI may be directed to register a case on the basis of complaint dated November 6 sent by the member-investors of the chambers building. Directions have been also sought to “undertake the investigation of the same for the purpose of prosecution of persons responsible for the offences committed by them, as stated in the complaint”.

The petitioners said their grudge was that the amount “running into crores, collected from some members of the District Bar Association, has been wasted on the basis of forged bills, use of substandard material, procurement of forged documents, and showing purchase of material on false documents”.

Elaborating, the petitioners said the total contract money was Rs 13.30 crore, while the amount paid till date to the contractor was Rs 14.60 crore. As such, an excess payment of Rs 1.30 crore was made, while 40 per cent work was yet to be completed. “The estimated money wasted could well be more than Rs 5 crore,” the petitioners alleged.



ISTC golden jubilee celebrations begin
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The Indo-Swiss Training Center (ISTC) kicked-off its golden jubilee celebrations, here today. Padmashree Chandra Mohan, chairman, Governing Council of Punjab Technical University’s Gian Jyoti School of Total Quality Management and Enterpreneurship, Mohali, addressed the students and ISTC staff .

Recalling his experience with ISTC students, he said students here get an exhaustive practical experience and would do well in the industry.

The foundation stone for ISTC was laid on December 5, 1962, at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation in collaboration with the Swiss Foundation for Technical Assistance. The purpose was to produce skilled technical manpower to fill the gap between engineers/designers and workmen. It offers diploma courses in several technical disciplines.

Dr Pawan Kapur, Director CSIO said its laboratories and infrastructure were being modernised at an outlay of Rs 34 crore. New courses on robotics and automation, bio-medical, advanced instrumentation technology and computer-aided manufacturing were being introduced. The vision was to transform ISTC into a global technical education centre, he said.

Former ISTC alumni, including Harpal Singh, who was associated with the construction of a 10-storey building within 48 hours in Mohali, also shared their professional experiences and advised students to pursue academic excellence.



British Columbia to open trade office in Chandigarh
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
In continuation of the commitment Christy Clark, Premier of the British Columbia (BC), a province in Canada, made during her visit to India in November last year, to open a new trade and investment office in Chandigarh, her Finance Minister Michael de Jong, will be here on Friday next to inaugurate it at the Canadian Consul-General.

The office, Christy Clark observed, would further strengthen the burgeoning business opportunities between India and the British Columbia. The BC exports to India between January and September this year are up 224 per cent over the same period last year.

Intriguingly, when Christy Clark reconstituted her Council of Ministers on September 5 this year, it did not have any nominee of the Indo-Canadian community. Elections to the British Columbia provincial assembly are due soon. The present ruling Liberal party probably has the strong Indo-Canadian constituency of the province in mind while opening the new trade and investment office here.

The co-location arrangement between the trade and investment office and Consul-General will provide the province with an excellent professional environment to conduct business in a coordinated manner.

Another similar office is being opened in India's financial capital Mumbai. Strong connections of Chandigarh with the Indo-Canadian community would also provide the much-needed fillip to promoting trade and business and cultural relations.

Before leaving for India on a personal-cum official tour of India early this week, Michael de Jong was quoted as saying "We attach great importance to capitalising on the growing bi-lateral business and cultural relations between India and British Columbia. It is essential that we energetically pursue provincial investment opportunities and educational ties with this vast and vibrant nation."

Minister de Jong, who arrived in Amritsar on Monday to fulfil a personal commitment that he had made during his time as Minister of Health to walk the distance between Amritsar and Chandigarh. The walkathon was arranged to raise awareness around the chronic diseases of diabetes and hypertension. The event, however, has now been modified.

The British Columbia Minister was to be assisted with the professional aspects of the health tour by Dr Gulzar Cheema, former Minister of Mental Health for British Columbia and a general practitioner in the Lower Mainland. Moreover, iCON, the Inter-cultural Online Health Network based at the Faculty of Medicine in the University of British Columbia, had promised enthusiastic support and medical expertise to this undertaking.

The BC government had declared that the walking tour of Punjab was a private undertaking by the minister. All costs associated with this undertaking were to be personally borne by de Jong; including the round trip flight to India.



admission forms
Residents make beeline for city schools
Deepankar Sharda
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Parents made a beeline for schools to buy forms for admission of their children to entry-level classes today.
A woman leaves with her child after buying the form at Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior School in Sector 33, Chandigarh, on Wednesday
A woman leaves with her child after buying the form at Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior School in Sector 33, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

After most of the local schools agreed to follow the common admission schedule prepared by the UT Education Department, the sale of forms started at 9am today.

Bhavan Vidyalaya Junior School, Sector 33, sold around 600 forms for the admission to pre-nursery classes. “The response was better as compared to the last year. The sale of forms will continue till December 15, and later on we will move ahead with the admissions,” said a school official.

Saupin’s School, Sector 32, sold around 300 forms on the first day. “We have received a good response from the residents. There have been over 289 registrations in various categories. We are expecting more parents in the coming days," said Aarti Malhotra, a school spokesperson.

Gurpreet Bakshi of St Kabir School, Sector 26, said in comparison to the last year, more forms were sold on the first day. “This year the competition will be tougher and we are looking forward to admit bright students,” Bakshi said.

The chairman of Vivek High School, HS Mamik, said: “The sale of forms started off well, and like every year we are expecting a good response.”



Pu-affiliated colleges
Only 40 students for add-on courses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
From the next academic session, all the PU-affiliated colleges in Chandigarh and Punjab will be allowed to admit only up to 40 students to the career-oriented add-on courses being offered on their campus. The decision was taken in a meeting attended by various college principals today.

In a bid to provide varied carrier opportunities, add-on courses have been introduced at the undergraduate level, and students can opt for any of these courses while pursuing graduation. However, in absence of any limit set by the PU authorities, many colleges have admitted more than 100 students to such add-on courses.

Gurdip Sharma, principal, GGDSD College, Hoshiarpur, a member of the committee that took the decision of limiting the student intake, said that as per the University Grants Commission (UGC), colleges could not admit more then 40 students in each add-on course; however, many colleges were violating the norms.

The add-on courses being offered by various colleges include mass communication and video reporting, disaster management, banking management, insurance business, entrepreneurship in small business, tourism and travel, event management, animation and graphics and web designing.

The committee also decided that all the colleges will be required to send the internal assessment of students to the university before March 31. The move is expected to help in declaring the results of undergraduate courses on time, which usually gets delayed every year.

The committee also decided that the colleges that are also recognised by the UGC will not have to pay any annual affiliation charges for extension of the add-on courses. At present, PU charges a fee from the colleges.



Pbi varsity VC urges govt to discourage obscene literature
Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 5
Second World Punjabi Literary Conference was inaugurated at Punjabi University here today. In his presidential address, Vice-Chancellor Dr Jaspal Singh said Punjabi University was established with a mandate to promote and propagate Punjabi language, literature and culture.

He informed that the university had been instrumental in establishing Punjabi academies in West Bengal and Uttarakhand too.

He requested the Punjab government to take measures for the development of the language, and also discourage obscene literature.

The Vice-Chancellor also urged litterateurs to create quality literature to make Punjabi language, literature and culture popular at the world level



Dearth of qualified teachers for various professional courses plagues colleges
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
The colleges affiliated to Panjab University are facing a dearth of UGC-NET qualified teachers for professional courses, including computer science and applications, fashion technology and library sciences.

While the university remains steadfast on its stand that only NET qualified teachers should be appointed to the colleges, the colleges have expressed their helplessness in filling the posts.

The issue was raised at a meeting attended by principals of all the PU-affiliated colleges recently. Principals had urged the PU Vice-Chancellor to find a solution, so that neither the colleges were forced to shut the courses, nor the standard of education was compromised.

Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal, principal, Guru Nanak College for Girls, Muktsar, said that the colleges were facing an acute shortage of teachers for fashion designing and library sciences.

“As most of the colleges in Punjab are facing financial crunch, the colleges have introduced professional courses such as fashion designing; however, at the time of recruitment, colleges are unable to attract UGC-NET qualified teachers,” she said. She further said that the university should cooperate with the colleges, and allow candidates from various fashion institutes to teach students.

Another principal said that colleges were not getting qualified candidates for library sciences, following which most of the colleges had recruited teachers who were not NET qualified. “Almost all the colleges have libraries and for filling the posts there is a need for NET qualified applicants; however, there is a shortage of such candidates,” the principal said.

During the meeting, Puneet Bedi, principal, MCMDAV College, Sector 36, had also highlighted the shortage of qualified teachers for computer science and applications. 



Beautify Student Centre: SOPU
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 5
Members of Student Organisation of Panjab University (SOPU) today submitted a memorandum to the Dean Student Welfare demanding beautification of the Student Centre.

In a meeting with the DSW and officials from the engineering wing, the students demanded that additional benches be installed at the Student Centre, the area be cleaned regularly and more dustbins be installed in the area.

The students also demanded that the construction of the girls’ hostel on the PU South Campus, which has already been delayed by over six months, should be completed at the earliest.

SOPU president Manoj Lubana said that due to the delay in construction of the hostel, hundreds of students were waiting to avail the hostel facility that should have been made available in the current academic session.

Other demands included renovation of the library’s outer section and enhancement of library facilities being provided to the students.

Lubana said that the authorities had assured them of a time-bound implementation of the demands. 



from schools
Cleanliness drive

Chandigarh: To mark World Pollution Day, students of AKSIPS Smart School organised a cleanliness drive in their vicinity. A rally was also taken out to spread awareness about ways to curb pollution. The students interacted with people and apprised them of various kinds of pollution, and the ways to tackle them. The school also conducted a workshop where fun activities were conducted for students of the pre-primary section.
Students display a model at the state-level science exhibition at the State Institute of Education in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Wednesday.
Students display a model at the state-level science exhibition at the State Institute of Education in Sector 32, Chandigarh, on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Parvesh Chauhan

Students present radio programme

Mohali: Twelve students of the radio jockey club of Swami Ram Tirtha School, Phase IV, presented a programme on Desh Bhagat radio station’s channel 90.4 FM. The students scripted the programme themselves. Through the programme aired on November 28, they created awareness about various social evils.

Children stage play on Bhagat Singh

Panchkula: A play on the life of Bhagat Singh was staged during the annual day function of St Soldier’s School, Sector 16. During the function, students also captivated the audience with their musical renditions. — TNS



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